Next Stop: La Halle Freyssinet


A few weeks ago, I announced that I was leaving Microsoft and mentioned that in the upcoming weeks I would be announcing my next move. Some people asked me if I was moving back to California (uh, why would I do that?) and some people asked me if I was launching my own startup (maybe one day, *sigh*). And no, I was not leaving Microsoft to join Google. When people would ask me what I was going to do, I would reply:

“My new job is huge. Literally.”

How huge? Well, the project I have just joined – known as the Halle Freyssinet or the 1000 Startups project – is set to be the world’s largest startup incubator and located in central Paris. The man behind the project is Xavier Niel, one of France’s leading entrepreneurs (founder of Free/Iliad telecoms company, hyper-active fund Kima Ventures, free coding school 42…). The Halle Freyssinet site has a long history and is currently under construction. The 34,000+ square-meter incubator will therefore open to the public in 2017 and I am insanely honored and excited to have joined the project as its Director. I couldn’t have imagined a more exciting opportunity if I tried 😀

Halle Freyssinet

The architectural simulations of what the site will look like from the front.

Carte Halle Freyssinet

A map showing the Halle Freyssinet’s location in central Paris.

This is an incredibly ambitious project that is set to be far more than just an incubator. It will house top local and international startups and numerous on-site services. But there is much, much more that will be revealed in the upcoming months – including a housing extension that is set to open in Ivry-sur-Seine the following year. You can find more information on the Halle Freyssinet – including simulation photos of what the space will look like when construction is completed – on the website here.

All ideas/suggestions welcome.

I have been overwhelmed by the support and interest that people have shown in my new role and in the project – thank you! Many of you have reached out to me to know if there are opportunities to join the team or to discuss potential partnership opportunities. Or simply to ask me questions about when it will open (hint: 2017). For the moment, we are not recruiting and we are only just beginning to discuss potential partnerships. But of course if there is something you would like to do with us or if you have an idea you want to recommend, feel free to mention it here.

Please note that we will be revealing more information about the space shortly, please stay tuned 🙂

22 thoughts on “Next Stop: La Halle Freyssinet

  1. This is fantastic news and, well, I should have guessed! I was surprised at the scale when I first heard of the project, and it will be fantastic to see the impact it makes across Europe once it launches. I’m really encouraged to see your involvement as I think this is one that will extend well beyond France proper, and your read on the global trends and community is definitely an asset. Congratulations and… get to work : )

  2. Your sense of self promoting (at the expense of your former employer?) will never fail to amaze me…. Glad you found yourself a good niche here.

    • Sorry you feel that way – although I am not sure I understand how my working at the Halle Freyssinet hurts Microsoft? If anything there will probably be a lot of ways Microsoft can benefit 🙂

    • 😦 Even though your comment is hurtful, I decided to publish it. I definitely didn’t mean to come across as self promoting – but rather just to say what I was doing next and provide some information about the project. That said, this is my personal blog so maybe if you’re not particularly interested in what I am doing you should not read it? Regardless, thanks for your feedback.

  3. Roxanne- you are making a real difference in the way the French start-up scene is being perceived, both in and outside of France. You are a real blessing to us and most of the French start-up entrepreneurs I know are grateful to have you with us! Please keep on doing whatever you have been doing.
    I disagree with some of the previous detractors’ comments on “self-promotion”. Championing a project could mean making it personal, and having done so you have made them more impactful for the French tech scene – and your employers.

  4. I remember two years ago in your interview with London Real, you were very exited when you were talking about Xavier Niel and how he’s trying to rebuild France ecosystem. I’m glad that you found your dream job to build an ecosystem, what you’re very passion about. Wish you all the best and hope to see you someday in a position to help us to rebuild Iran’s ecosystem.

  5. Hi there! Long time no talk. Just wanted to say congratulations and I love following you from time to time here and on your other networks. What you do is so amazing and inspirational. I’m actually moving to Montpellier soon to work with a company called BIME Analytics, so I’ll be hitting you up for French tips and coffee when I’m in Paris. Talk soon 🙂

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